Raoul Koczalski was born on January 3, 1885 in Warsaw Poland. His first teachers were his mother and later, Julian Gadowski and the Liszt pupil, Ludwig Marek. After Marek's death, the seven year old prodigy began his studies with Karl Mikuli, a student of Chopin. These studies continued until Koczalski's eleventh year. Mikuli became Koczalski's last teacher. As a pupil of a student of Chopin, Koczalski was closely associated with the music of the Polish master. However, his recitals often included works by other composers. Among his last recitals before his death, three were devoted entirely to Beethoven's music.
In these recordings of the Chopin Etudes, the listener will notice a different interpretative style as compared to those of two other historical complete recordings performed by Cortot and Backhaus. This includes individual Chopin Etude recordings by other pianists of this period. For example, there is little in common with Koczalski's performance of the Op 10 no1 and that of Moriz Rosenthal who was also a pupil of Mikuli. Koczalski's performance of the Op 25 no 6 (thirds) has often been compared favorably with that of Josef Lhevinne , but other than the tempi, the interpretation and articulation is entirely different as it is with the Op 25 no 11, "Winter Winds". And there are textual divergences as in the Op 10 no 2 where one measure is left out. One could go on and on. However, connisours of Romantic period performance practice will relish these recordings.
Chopin Etudes Op 25 No's 1,2,3,4 and 5 Koczalski Rec 1938-39.wmv